Compromise is the key to productivity in American politics

Victory and defeat mean little when the country as a whole is not moving forward

Nick Keith, Editor-in-Chief

“If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of progress?” The classic middle school joke seems more pertinent than ever, with threats of government shutdowns coming to fruition in the month of October. The congressional shutdown has since ended, but the government stalemate, it seems, has not budged an inch. And from the looks of it, the American political system has not learned much from the situation.

Unfortunately for the American people, the only solution to a governmental stalemate is compromise, which is clearly out of the question in the eyes of both political factions. Both parties have firmly planted their heels into America’s amber waves of grain under the notion that it would be both a travesty to their respective parties and the American people if one were to give any slack toward the other. The ensuing government shutdown, as it happened, was not the tragedy and panic it was made out to be for the majority of Americans. In actuality, the lives of almost every American carried on the same. A government shutdown meant little change from what the government was producing before the shutdown: nothing. For the average American, the government might as well have been shut down for months; just as much would have been produced.

Though the Republican approval rating has met an all-time low due to the party’s role in the governmental shutdown, Democrats cannot be considered the victors of the stand-still either. Regardless of who is to blame for the shutdown, the government as a whole still is not carrying out its most fundamental obligations, aside from the Supreme Court. Democrats cannot be celebrating a “victory” when the victory has neither led to a tangible change in our government nor a true benefit for the American people.

What both political parties (and all of the heavily partisan American citizens) must realize is the same key principle that is taught in sophomore year Civics & Economics class to every student in public school; that all political parties, whether Democrat, Republican, Whig or Federalist, are the same in that their main goal is to create a functioning government. Each may differ greatly in its ideologies and policies, but in the end the main goal of every party is to run our United States government in the best way possible. When every political party’s goal is to create a functioning government, yet a disagreement on healthcare creates a complete shutdown of governmental proceedings, it becomes exceedingly clear that the politicians in office (on both sides of the tug-of-war) have not only forgotten what their job description means, but also what their duty is to the American people.